At the start of the pandemic in 2020, due to the heavy restrictions Trusts had to put in place to reduce footfall and transmission, we had to say a temporary good-bye to some of our very special colleagues, our volunteers. This week is Volunteers week and I am delighted to see the tributes that are paid to this group of amazing people.
I am so proud of the work carried out by our fabulous volunteers, as well as those who have come on board to support the vaccination centres. Every volunteer makes a positive difference to those who access our services, so I’d like to give a huge thank you to them all and our partners across the voluntary sector. The volunteers are by our side every step of the way in helping us provide the very best care and support to those who need our help and services.
I am sure I can speak for all my colleagues at ELHT when I say we are incredibly proud and will be delighted to welcome back all our volunteers to the ELHT family later this month.
On a personal note, no doubt you are aware of the news regarding my new role at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. There will now be a handover period between the three Trusts to ensure a smooth transition for all colleagues and services. I am, of course, very much looking forward to continuing to work with all my colleagues through the provider collaboration work.
Guest blog from Lynn Hackett, Voluntary Service Manager
Hi. My name is Lynn Hackett and I am the Voluntary Service Manager at ELHT. My role involves looking after the 250 volunteers we have who selflessly dedicated time to helping our colleagues and their patients.
Our volunteers have been making an invaluable contribution in supporting the promotion and delivery of a safe, personal and effective service for more than 40 years. They commit their time, enthusiasm and experience to support our patients, families, visitors and workforce in many different ways. Volunteers also play a vital role in supporting us to serve our community by actively contributing to the Trust’s service development and feedback projects.
This last year has been a real challenge as we have had to stand down many of our vulnerable volunteers to protect them from the Covid-19 virus and reduce footfall on our sites. It was such a sad day when this happened as they form a pivotal part of many teams and they are greatly missed. We can’t wait for them to return later this month!
Over the last 2 months, however, a number of new roles have emerged due to the pandemic, so we have also been extremely busy recruiting new volunteers to help with these. Our new cohort of volunteers have merged seamlessly with our current team, helping in such vital roles as patient drop offs, supporting visitors with changing masks and hand sanitising upon entering buildings and the vaccination hubs. We have also been continuing with our volunteer roles helping our charity ELHT&Me manage and distribute many boxes of donations and let’s not forget helping our Spiritual Care Team to facilitate visits to departments from Jasper the Therapy Dog!
Being part of this amazing team of people every day is really humbling. Our volunteers give their time for free, have risen to the challenge of any new role we have introduced and given valuable support to many teams.
In praising all of our volunteers who have been able to come in, we mustn’t forget all our wonderful existing volunteers whom we have kept in touch with throughout the pandemic. Be it via the weekly messages of telephone calls, they have all continued to send us messages of encouragement during the difficult times and kept us smiling. We are hoping to see our services fully restored in the coming months and when we can, look at expanding our amazing volunteer team to fulfil roles we have had to put on hold.
Working within the voluntary services is so much more than just a job, it is a reward.
If you, or anyone you know would be interested in volunteering then please tell them to look at the volunteer vacancies that are posted on the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership website.
If you have any other questions, or require any further information, please email email@example.com.